from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having no life; inanimate.
  • adj. Having lost life; dead. See Synonyms at dead.
  • adj. Not inhabited by living beings; not capable of sustaining life.
  • adj. Lacking vitality or animation; dull: a lifeless party.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. inanimate; having no life
  • adj. dead; having lost life
  • adj. uninhabited, or incapable of supporting life
  • adj. dull or lacking vitality
  • adj. departed

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of life, or deprived of life; not containing, or inhabited by, living beings or vegetation; dead, or apparently dead; spiritless; powerless; dull

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Deprived of life; dead; also, in a state of suspended animation.
  • Not possessing life; inanimate; inorganic: as, lifeless matter.
  • Destitute of power, force, vigor, or spirit; wanting animation or vital energy; dull; heavy; inactive; vapid; insipid: as, a lifeless style of oratory; lifeless movements.
  • Destitute of living beings.
  • Synonyms Defunct.
  • Inert, torpid, sluggish, spiritless, passive; flat, frigid, pointless.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. deprived of life; no longer living
  • adj. lacking animation or excitement or activity
  • adj. destitute or having been emptied of life or living beings
  • adj. not having the capacity to support life


life +‎ -less (Wiktionary)


  • WASHINGTON (RNS) As Democrats conduct a grim postmortem on Tuesday's (Nov. 2) elections, some liberal leaders say one diagnosis is already clear: the party's outreach to religious voters was lifeless from the start.

    Have Democrats Lost Faith In Faith-Based Outreach?

  • The big, corporate commissioned public art pieces in lifeless lower Manhattan plazas are old news.

    Jaime Rojo & Steven Harrington: NY's Nuit Blanche: "Bring To Light"

  • It's no secret, he's drinking himself to death - Jarvis stared in lifeless horror at the sky.

    Banano's Bar

  • But then, I keep a blog to prove my existence, to show people how lifeless is my life ....

    Archive 2006-04-01

  • There the sea became for me a being with a soul - as everything is, though we do not perceive it - and there her aspects and her voice acquired a meaning, as all that we call lifeless has a meaning.

    The Bride of Dreams

  • But the figure that is like you will remain lifeless in the bed, and will be duly buried.

    The Brownies and Other Tales

  • At that hour, standing alone in the high-walled garden when the convent bells are tolling, and the convent itself, with its iron-barred, Gothic windows, and its gray-green olive-trees that look so unreal and lifeless, is tinged by the last rays of the sun, the whole seems like a vision, or a half-remembered sketch, or a memory of romance.

    Life in Mexico, During a Residence of Two Years in That Country

  • I must proceed to Windsor, to calm the anxiety of Clara, who would wait anxiously for us -- yet I would fain spare her the heart-breaking spectacle of Idris, brought in by me lifeless from the journey.


  • Homer, too, having discovered from the ancient and divine history which says, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," [2579] calls the lifeless body of Hector dumb clay.

    ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus

  • His instructors had referred to the lifeless, crumbling cities and vast transportation networks of that planet to stress the importance of exploration and discovery.


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